BGF continued its investment in the next generation of the UK’s IT & Technology sector by backing Skyscape Cloud Services, the leading provider of cloud infrastructure services to the UK public sector, with a £4m investment in May 2014.
BGF’s capital is being used to further develop Skyscape’s channel partnerships as well as continue investment into direct sales, alongside expanding into the wider UK Public Sector, including healthcare, local government, research and higher education.
Since BGF’s investment, Skyscape has experienced rapid growth, increasing revenues from £3.7m in 2014 to £16.2m in 2015. Employee numbers have doubled in line with this growth and the company has won a number of industry awards including ‘One to Watch in Cloudex 20:20, Gartner ‘Cool Vendor’ and Cloud Provider Innovation of the Year award at the UK IT Industry Awards 2014.
Skyscape was founded in May 2011 by successful entrepreneur Jeff Thomas (Chairman) and two experienced businessmen Phil Dawson (CEO) and Simon Hansford (CTO). The company’s head office is in Farnborough, Hampshire.
The business has achieved great success to date, winning a number of high-profile contracts directly with public sector organisations, including the Cabinet Office, Home Office, HMRC and MOD. Skyscape also provides cloud services to other central government departments as well as a growing number of local authorities and independent government organisations.
Capitalising on the government shift to cloud computing which forms a key part of government ICT strategy, Skyscape is a market leader in the provision of assured cloud solutions to the UK public sector and has made significant investment in designing a cloud platform that is specifically tailored to meet the needs of this market. The business is currently focused mainly on central government departments, supporting more than 70 projects, across 38 customer organisations engaging through over 100 partners.
Skyscape focuses on providing assured cloud services in a more agile, secure and cost-effective manner. Its customers are able to eliminate the need for costly hardware or managed hosting services as well as benefit from simple hourly pricing and no initial set-up fees. This genuine pay-by-the-hour service delivers significant cost savings for Skyscape’s customers, who are able to turn servers off during evenings and weekends, or alternatively, rapidly scale services at times of peak demand.
Regional Director – South
Paul joined BGF in May 2011 and heads up our South West and South Wales region, covering the South West of England, Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and South Wales from offices in Bristol and Reading. As well as working on new investment opportunities in the region, he currently sits on the board of four BGF investee companies and is a member of the BGF national Investment and Executive Committees.
Prior to BGF, Paul worked as a private equity investor for 16 years with 3i and LDC and also led Grant Thornton’s South West Corporate Finance advisory team as Partner for six years. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in Manchester and holds a First Class Degree in Economics and Accounting from The University of Sheffield.
“I joined BGF on the day we launched – the opportunity to create a new and unique investment business focused on helping SMEs to grow was both exciting and challenging. It is great to see that our supportive, long-term approach to funding and supporting ambitious management teams is in demand. We are achieving two of our key objectives – helping exciting private companies to grow, and increasing the size of the equity growth capital market in the UK. We will continue to invest in our regional team to enable us to work with many more ambitious companies.”
Ned works in BGF’s investment team in the South West and is responsible for finding and completing new investment opportunities as well as continuing to work with the boards of BGF’s investee companies.
Ned joined BGF in January 2012 from Maven Capital Partners (formerly Aberdeen Asset Management) having worked in their London office since 2007. He has completed more than 20 equity investments and has been involved with the boards of most of these companies. Earlier in his career Ned worked in corporate finance with BDO Stoy Hayward and previously qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2001.
Ned graduated with a BSc in Oceanography with Mathematics from Southampton University. He lives in Bristol and is married with three young children. Ned is an improving golfer, a keen snowboarder and a declining footballer.
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